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OTRC: 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Dakota Johnson, Charlie Hunnam cast as leads

Charlie Hunnam appears at the 'Pacific Rim' Los Angeles Premiere on July 9, 2013. / Actress Dakota Johnson arrives at the 12th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com)

After months of speculation, "Fifty Shades of Grey" has cast its lead actors.

E.L. James, the author of the trilogy, announced the casting news on Twitter on Sept. 2.

"I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'" James tweeted at 8 a.m. PT on Monday.

Johnson, who is the 23-year-old daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, has appeared in "The Social Network," "The Five-Year Engagement" and "21 Jump Street" and was the star of the short-lived TV comedy "Ben & Kate."

Several actresses were rumored to be up for the role, including Emma Watson. However, Watson shot down the rumor herself on Twitter in March by writing, "Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life."

"So... Christian...," James teased in another tweet at 8: 55 a.m. PT. She later made the big casting reveal by writing, "The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film adaptation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'"

Hunnam, 33, is likely best known to television audiences as Jackson "Jax" Teller on the FX series "Sons of Anarchy," which is set to kick off its sixth season on Sept. 10. Hunnam also recently starred in the action film "Pacific Rim."

Focus Features and Universal Pictures, the distributors of the film, confirmed the casting in a statement on Monday, The Associated Press reports.

"Fifty Shades of Grey," by James, is the first of three books about a sadomasochistic relationship between wealthy businessman Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. It is a New York Times best-seller.

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and is scheduled to hit theaters on Aug. 1, 2014.

UPDATE: Producers of "Fifty Shades of Grey" have explained why Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson were cast. Check out what they said.

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